Becoming Nicole


Amy Ellis Nutt

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Becoming Nicole: Chapter 2 Summary & Analysis

Wyatt and Jonas Maines are born on October 7, 1997 in upstate New York, two weeks early. Sarah has a slightly difficult delivery and loses quite a bit of blood, but she, Kelly, and Wayne are able to take the babies home three days later. Wayne holds his sons, saying, “My boys,” over and over again.
Nutt reinforces here how the Maineses are already a somewhat atypical family because the twins are adopted. Yet she shows just as strongly that their family is built on love, and that Kelly and Wayne don’t need to Wyatt and Jonas’s biological parents for their family to be valid.
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Wayne thinks about the fact that right now they are Kelly’s boys, but soon he will have his own special connection with them. He thinks about the rites of passage that he wants to help them through, that he would be taking charge of—even the “silly things, such as arguing about sports.”
Nutt provides yet another example of Wayne’s expectations for his sons, and how he expects to interact with them. These preconceived notions are tied to social norms of gender and typical family structures.
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A week after the babies are born, Kelly drives Sarah to Albany the night before her flight home. She takes Sarah out to dinner, thanking her for the gift she’s given Kelly and Wayne. On the drive home, Kelly thinks about contingency plans: though Sarah has never expressed a desire to keep the babies, Kelly feels the need to steel herself against the possibility.
Peering into Kelly’s inner thoughts allows readers to understand how much she is motivated by love for her children, even though they are not biologically hers. As becomes crucial to her reactions to Wyatt’s gender identity, she cares less about what others will think of her family and more about taking care of her children.
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